Changes to Consent and Release of Client Information

Our members talk with us regularly about their concerns for clients' privacy when it comes to releasing information to third parties such as insurers.

New standards drawn up by the Financial Services Council in response to strong advocacy from our colleagues at RACGP, will hopefully address some of these concerns.  

The new standards coming into effect 1 July mean that the whole client health file can no longer be automatically requested, protecting a client’s privacy and avoiding potential misinterpretation. A client’s informed consent will always be sought prior to release of information to insurers.  Any report that is requested when clients apply for, or make a claim against, their insurer will only be able to access information that the insurer “reasonably needs”. Health professionals will now be able to release information that is relevant and make decisions in best interest of their client. 

RACGP has developed an FAQ on the new standards for those wanting more information. These standards apply to all health professionals, including psychologists.